George Rankine hopes to use darts to realise his local conservation dreams.
George, 18, received $14,477 as proceeds from the Vivian Rankine Memorial darts tournament. The money went into a scholarship fund for George, who intends to attend Hawaii Pacific University to pursue an undergraduate degree related to marine biology.
The Bodden Town resident states his goal is to benefit Cayman.
“I’m going there and I’m going to apply there soon,” George said. “I want to get up to a Master’s degree there. From there, I’d go up to PhD. After that, I want to come back and help preserve Cayman.
“I’ve always loved the environment. Apart from the environment being better to Cayman than in most places, there is a lot of eco-tourism. If we lose the environment, we would lose a major source of income.”
The son of Mavita Rankine is currently a student at the University College of the Cayman Islands. George, who was born in George Town, is in his first semester of his sophomore year and is pursuing an associate’s degree in applied sciences (with a focus on biology and chemistry).
He is the son of Vivian Rankine, a former officer for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and a darts aficionado who passed away years ago. A darts tournament in Vivian’s honour has been staged since 1999, under organisers Martin Bodden, Carol Johnson, Horace Duquesnay and Trevor Lloyd (who passed away in November 2010).
Bodden states George’s desire to aid local marine life is inspiring.
“It’s bitter sweet for me and the committee as we did it, the tournament, up to his 18th birthday,” Bodden said. “I’ve heard dart players say they will support George and family in the future. His dad participated in many tournaments and we celebrated him. We shared many memories and he’s still alive to me.
“I spoke to a Hawaii Pacific representative and things have been put in place for George. Based on the last conversation with George, he’s looking forward to it, it’s a good start for him.
“For the fund to be in excess of $13,000 is almost an average of $1,000 per year. I’m happy with that. To reach that takes significant effort and dedication from those who have participated. We had no sponsors in the beginning yet we did significantly well.”
The tournament culminated last month with Jasper Esguerra emerging the overall winner. The Filipino star would edge countryman Marcelo ‘Val’ Junio in the tournament final. Randy Cruz and Nida Jemina won the A division doubles category while Miriam Rodriguez and Abner Fogardo claimed the B division doubles crown.
The event attracted 36 players, its second highest turnout since inception. Among those present were Cayman Islands Darts Association President Paul Anglin and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson. Anglin, who added $500 to George’s scholarship fund, states the young man had the blessing of the association in his scholastic and personal pursuits.
“George, on behalf of the darts association, I congratulate you and wish you all the best in the future,” Anglin said.
The 2012 tournament took place at the Grand Caymanian and attracted some of the best players in Cayman. Earl Smith and Michelle Terry were runners-up to Esguerra in the A division singles category while Antonio Ayuson and Frank Martyr trailed Junio for the B division singles crown.
In the doubles segment, the runners-up in the A ranks were Junio and Buena Valle alongside Rodan Asuncion and Eugene Deguzman. The B division saw Esguerra and Hank Ebanks teaming up with Antonio Ayuson and Jastine Rubio placing third.
George, who turns 19 next August, states he will always remember the support shown by the local darts fraternity and take aim at dartboards in the future.
“It’s just so much, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to thank Martin and them. It’s amazing, I just can’t believe what this tournament has done for me.
“I’m definitely going to keep on playing darts, for all of my life I hope. Considering everything that has happened, with my dad playing and his passing leading up to this tournament, I’ll continue on for everything that has been done.”